Imagine you are dating a Latin American woman and are living together.
When suddenly you two need something done in the house.
Perhaps calling in somebody to install something or whatever labor that you are hiring to get some job done.
When contacting the business though to fix your toilet or whatever, you make sure to contact them with your local phone and not with the phone that has a gringo phone number.
When they answer the call, you have her do the talking with her local accent.
When the employee or business shows up to your house, you also hide away in the shadows.
Never to be seen initially.
As far as the employee is concerned, he is dealing with normal Latin Americans that are from here.
Who probably earn local currency in a local job that doesn't pay an excessive amount for the local economy.
And will likely give a price that reflects that.
Sure, given he is talking to a woman, perhaps he tries to give an overestimate on the work he needs to do while assuming that she doesn't know he is making shit up.
But at least she's a local!
Though, if your gringo ass were to present itself, your wife might shake her head in frustration.
Now the price for the job has doubled!
The worker sees your gringo ass, hears your gringo accent and has dollar signs in his eyes.
A job that would've costed 150 bucks now costs 300 or 500 bucks.
It's actually a topic that comes up sometimes in gringo-Latina relationships for some couples.
I imagine not every couple explicitly talks about it.
Perhaps there are gringos out there that are OK with being taken advantage of and the Latina woman doesn't give a fuck because it's his money and not hers that's being spent.
But, for some gringo-Latina couples out there, it is a topic.
"Hiding while white" as some might put it.
Though, if you are a black or Asian American, I imagine it's similar because your ass is still foreign from the US and with a funny accent and a foreign income not based on local pesos.
However, I'm sure some locals would see bigger dollar signs if the Latina's husband was a blonde hair, blued eyed gringo than a black gringo.
Regardless though, I'm sure some non-white gringos face this problem too.
"Hiding while black" or "hiding while Asian" might be appropriate for them.
Not long ago however, I remember meeting up with another foreign man down here that gave his experience on the topic.
"Go Take a Walk Several Hundred Times Around the Block"
As I wrote here, there was a Dutch gringo I once met that was married to a Mexican woman and, if I remember right, even became naturalized as a Mexican citizen.
He's been here for easily over a decade now and have some hiking business here that they run together.
I only met him mostly through that connection of hiking as I like to hike also sometimes.
One interesting story though that he told me was of an incident very similar to the one described above.
While living in Mexico City, they had to hire some moving company to help them relocate somewhere else within the city.
And, though I don't know all of the details obviously, they tried to keep HIS identity a secret throughout most of the interaction.
Just not mentioning where he is from or anything like that.
Having her communicate with the moving company instead of having him call them up with his foreign cell phone and with his foreign accent.
Once the price was settled anyhow, he obviously didn't have to "hide in the shadows" so to speak.
Our foreign Dutch man soon made his appearance when the company showed up and he told me that they gave him an odd look when he came out of the shadows.
A look of "the fuck? A gringo? How much we charging again?"
But the price was already settled.
And, after I asked, he told me that they didn't try to up the price in anyway after the fact.
Did the job.
Paid the price agreed upon.
And that was that.
Who knows if they would've increased the price beyond reason if they knew ahead of time that he was Dutch.
But it was something that they felt was better to just "keep him in the shadows" before any price is told.
Perhaps have him take a walk several hundred times around the block until he can present himself.
Reminds me of my own experiences.
The Gringo in the Distance
Before coming to Mexico City years ago, I often spent time in other countries of Latin America like Colombia or Bolivia.
In other areas of Latin America, most taxis don't use a meter and you have to negotiate the price.
In Mexico City, there are some areas though -- like Barrio Alto Cuautepec -- where you have to negotiate the price and also other areas -- like Milpa Alta -- where they'll try to ignore the meter during the night only.
Still, when I was traveling around, I had no shortage of experiences where I would be with a local woman that I'm dating or a local friend and we'd need a taxi.
And where the local would be the one who does the talking with the taxi at the beginning.
If I was with a woman, I'd insist ahead of time that they ask the taxi driver for the price and I just "stand in the distance."
Like some hapless retard who looks lost and is in no way associated with this woman who is going to ask this taxi driver for the first price.
Only because, if I was the one with my accent to ask about the price right away, there's a solid chance the motherfucker would see my gringo ass and 10x the price beyond what it was normally.
So, in those circumstances, it's better to just have the local woman that you are seeing ask about the price first.
The only issue though is that, because she isn't the one spending money, her ass might legit walk into the taxi after the price is quoted instead of letting you negotiate.
Which, now that I think about it, is probably a good litmus test for Latina women, no?
If her ass just accepts the first price on something like that, she probably doesn't respect you enough to give you a chance to kick that price down a little and therefore would probably be a bad girlfriend and likely a bad mother of your kids that would let them do heroin or shit.
My latest theory of the day.
In all seriousness though, it is one of the more memorable things that comes to mind when dating Latinas down here in my experience.
Letting the Latina be the "front face" at the beginning of the transaction for taxis and then my gringo ass walking up to reveal myself as part of the deal.
In some of those cases, I wish I had taken a picture of the face of the taxi drivers involved because some of them do legit have this "the fuck? A GRINGO is involved?!?! I WAS TRICKED! I SHOULD'VE CHARGED A MILLION DOLLARS!!!!!"
And that is not just my experience.
Here's another one I saw not long ago.
The Invisible Gringo in Peru
This is something I remember reading in a Telegram chat I am part of for gringos in Latin America.
You can read it here.
There's a lot more to that comment but I cut out the part that is most relevant to this topic as the rest of the comment covers other details to life in Latin America.
It again shows the practice that some gringo-Latina couples take up on regarding requesting the services of other locals.
Be it taxi drivers, buying certain products or services or whatever else.
When it comes to dealing with locals in this regard, it's best to just let the local woman ask about the prices unless they have the prices written somewhere.
Which is one thing about Mexico City that I like so much.
It surprised me actually when the Jacob the Dutch dude told me that they had to tell his girl the price instead of there being somewhere where it is written.
Granted, I've never used a moving service before in Mexico City or anywhere so I'm not sure how it is.
But, when compared to most of Latin America, Mexico City is generally better than places like Peru or Colombia when it comes to having the prices for stuff written down somewhere for everyone -- including foreigners -- to see.
In such cases, I suppose it's less necessary for the gringo to "hide" somewhere in the distance while his gal starts the conversation on what the price will be.
The Hidden Gringa in Brazil
Finally, we have another example I saw on Facebook recently.
This time in Brazil where some chick explains what gringo means in her experience but also describes how she had to be the quiet one while her husband negotiated anything.
What's interesting here though is that, while there are white locals in Peru, they are obviously much less common than white locals in Brazil.
Unless the gringo looks like a stereotypical gringo, then it's possible in some parts of Latin America to "pass" as a local physically until you open your mouth.
When I lived in Argentina, that was the case.
In Mexico City, it's not really though maybe I could pass slightly better if I had black hair.
In Peru? I doubt I'm passing as a local even with black hair unless maybe I live in Miraflores of Lima but even then I kinda doubt it.
But in southern Brazil or Argentina? Yeah, could pass.
So this is just an example of how you might not have to necessarily "hide" in the distance somewhere pretending to not be with the local doing the negotiation but could actually stand next to them without getting charged more unless you open your mouth.
Though, as we'll cover soon, simply being white could still get you the higher charge even if they don't necessarily think you are a foreigner.
Anything to Add?
Anyway, that's all I got to say.
Just illustrating an element to dating Latin American women that some gringos will notice over time while living down here.
You don't even have to be dating women down here to notice that though.
Even among friends -- like I said when I was in Colombia -- you'll notice it's better to let the Colombian friend do the talking.
Like when I lived in Quilla and a friend of mine named Andres would be the one to talk to the taxis when we were going to whatever bar.
So it's not restricted to just dating local women.
But, when dating local women down here, you'll notice it eventually.
The benefit to just letting her be the "front face" to the negotiations to get their first price offer and go from there.
And, like I said, I'm honestly of the belief that it is a good litmus test for dating Latin American women.
If she just takes whatever price is first quoted to her while you are pretending to not be with her and the price isn't very good, then she might not give a fuck about your wallet or working together to get the best price.
Even though she might not be the one paying, a solid woman who cares about you and knows what the local prices are would let their be an interaction to negotiate that price down or reject an offer that is too bad.
Or in any other interaction outside of taxis where you two are buying something.
The last thing I want to say also is that, based on her own physical appearance and way of being, you two still might get the "gringo tax" even if the other local doesn't think you are with her.
This would be true especially if she was whiter than most locals and had mannerisms that screamed "upper class."
Because, at least in Mexico, there is a thing called "impuesto güero."
Whitexican sufre del impuesto para rubias | Qué Importa
It's a misconception that some gringos have that they think they are the only ones who get hit with higher prices for their appearance when the same practice is done against other Mexicans and probably people in other Latin American countries for having the appearance that they have more money (which, in a lot of countries, being a whiter local can give that impression).
Now, if your Latina wife is some Oaxacan girlfriend that hasn't had a single Spaniard among her ancestors and looks like she cooks gorditas as a side hustle, then probably there is no "impuesto güero" when she opens her mouth.
Anyway, that's all I got to say.
If you got anything to add, drop a comment below.
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Thanks for reading.